Today, Frankfort High School received a surprise of a lifetime when the football team learned they were chosen as a winner of Riddell’s 2019 Smarter Football Program.
Players and coaches were notified with a special congratulatory message from Riddell brand ambassador Peyton Manning. Riddell’s annual program received more than 800 applications this year and is donating equipment to a total of 10 programs across the country, spanning youth to college, that have demonstrated their commitment to teaching a smarter, safer game.
Frankfort High School preaches the importance of “heads-up” tackling, with an emphasis on instituting correct techniques at an early age. Off the field, coaches provide meals for all players throughout summer workouts and prior to each game. The staff also works closely with their student athletes to organize study tables after each practice to ensure all players are performing in the classroom. The team’s positive impact on the community certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed; over the past two years, program participation has increased from 16 to 94 players.
Riddell and Peyton Manning Award Equipment Grants to Smarter Football Winners Across the Country
The leader in head protection names its 2019 Smarter Football grant recipients
Des Plaines, Ill. – September 17, 2019 – Riddell and Peyton Manning awarded equipment grants to 10 unique football organizations today as part of the 2019 Smarter Football initiative. Riddell surprised the teams through custom congratulatory videos featuring the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Manning highlighted each team’s commitment to evolving the sport through smarter playing tactics.
As part of each winner’s reward, they are given $10,000 to use on Riddell’s latest helmets, shoulder pads, padded apparel, and blocking equipment. Manning, now in his third year of involvement in Smarter Football, pledged personal support by offering Riddell’s InSite smart helmet technology to teams using grant funds to purchase new helmets. InSite is Riddell’s industry-leading impact monitoring system and coaching tool that identifies training opportunities and atypical head impacts for staffs, in real-time, to help correct and improve player behavior.
“I’m proud to help ensure these 10 teams’ commitment to player safety is taken to the next level with industry-leading protective equipment from Riddell,” said Peyton Manning, Riddell’s brand ambassador and strategic advisor. “It’s remarkable to learn about the difference these teams make on developing young athletes and collectively improving the sport. These organizations are truly the future of football and set a great example for others to follow.”
In June, Riddell kicked off its fifth season of Smarter Football by introducing Peoria High School (Peoria, IL) as its first-ever Team of the Future. The Peoria High School Lions, known for their progressive approach to football, became one of the first high schools in the country fully outfitted with the latest in football head protection and smart helmet technologies. Riddell then encouraged teams across the country to apply for a chance to upgrade their equipment. Manning recently joined the Team of the Future on the field where he coached the Lions for a day during training camp to get them ready for the season.
More than 800 football teams ranging from youth to college, applied and shared their stories expressing dedication to improving the sport they love. Winners’ entries reflected a shared effort from team personnel and players to remain steadfast in their commitment to player safety, personal and team development, community service, and advancement of the sport on and off the field.
This year’s Smarter Football class consists of seven high schools and three youth teams, from 10 different states. The winners will receive a collective $100,000 in equipment grants from Riddell and Manning to provide a new level of protection to their players.
The recipients of the 2019 Riddell Smarter Football equipment grants are:
- Frankfort High School, Frankfort, IN
- Wendell High School, Wendell, ID
- Newton Conover High School, Newton, NC
- Apalachee High School, Winder, GA
- Cardinal O’Hara High School, Tonawanda, NY
- Texas School for the Deaf, Austin, TX
- Canyon Country High School, Canyon Country, CA
- Farmington Youth Football, Farmington, MN
- Wilkinson County Youth Football, Centreville, MS
- Hummelstown Youth Football, Hummelstown, PA
For more information about the Smarter Football initiative, please visit Riddell.com/SmarterFootball. Anyone in the football community is invited to join the movement by following @RiddellSports on social media and sharing their own examples of #SmarterFootball in action.